RUSSIA LED BIG WRESTLING CONTEST

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MOSCOW, February 21 (Mikhail Smirnov, RIA Novosti sport commentator) - Moscow's Wrestling Palace hosted an 11th junior Greco-Roman wrestling tournament in memory of Olympic champion Boris Gurevich. The event gathered more than 350 contestants of 27 teams from 14 countries-Russia, another 13 post-Soviet countries-CIS members and the Baltics, and Israel.

Legendary Alexander Karelin, thrice Olympic champion, made a memorable presence at the opening ceremony to set the tune to the contest, which proceeded according to updated rules of the FILA, International Wrestling Federation.

The host team steadily led the suspense-laden show, a treat to the fans. The boys were contesting for 14 sets of medals in eleven weights and two age groups. Russians scored a lion's share of prizes. Some went to Belarussian, Azeri, Kyrgyz and Latvian athletes.

The organizers also awarded prizes for the best techniques and willpower, and to the youngest finalist.

Contest geography will soon be extended, especially through greater participation by athletes from outside the post-Soviet area, says Vladimir Zotov, tournament organizing committee chief and Moscow's Southeast administrative district prefect.

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